Out of Hiding and into Healing.
As I move once again out of hiding into healing, I’m reminded of the very last time I ever went to marriage counseling six and a half years ago.
For this particular session, my now ex-husband was a no-show yet again, as was usually the case in our couples therapy. It had happened before — me alone in the therapist’s office — numerous times throughout our married life, but still this day stood out like no other.
On this day, the therapist, who’d only ever met me once, looked directly in my eyes and said, “Your marriage has been fatally flawed since Day One.”
I wish I could say I was shocked, flabbergasted, beaten down, decimated, floored, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I knew. I’d always known. I knew the very day I married him that I was going to die a slow death every single day of my marriage to this man.
It took nine years and one day to finally decide enough was enough and I would rather die alone, sooner rather than later, than spend one more minute pretending to be happy in this partnership.
I’d humiliated myself by leaving and going back so many times before that this time it took me a year to tell people it was over. Finally done, I was getting a divorce.
At that stage in my life, the disease of perfectionism and the silence of shame were strong in me. I’d held it together as long as I possibly could.
My entire 40 years of life up to that point had always been about making it all look good on the outside at any cost, even if I was dying on the inside, pretending all is well, isolating so no one saw the truth, suffering in silence, telling no one, and never, ever, under any circumstances, asking for help or even admitting that I actually needed it.
Although I knew the truth every second of every day, I was in the darkest of dark places and I didn’t know a way out — this was my mantra. This was my life. This was the truth about the hell of my creation that I lived in all day, every single day of my miserable existence.
Today, as I again release myself from the suffering at the end of another relationship lesson, I realize that I am still hiding from the truth in my partnerships, romanticizing what is, pretending it wasn’t as unfulfilling as it was, all in an effort to avoid my fear of change, my fear of being alone, my fear of self, my fear of the real pain that is holding me back, and my deepest feelings of being unworthy and unlovable.
I realized long ago that the truth of what is happening inside me, the state of my actual vibrational health, is always reflected by the reality that I manifest outside of me, my external report card.
How is my physical health?
How is my career?
How is my parenting?
How are my romantic partnerships?
How are my familial relationships?
How are my friendships?
How is my mental health?
How are my opportunities to use my gifts to be of service?
I know that the Divine intends for us to live blissfully happy, simple, harmonious, flowing, creative, fulfilling lives, and I know the truth about where I have work to do.
Choosing to hide, choosing to avoid the truth that we know every second of every day, I think we all know we’re doing it.
We know when we choose to stay inside our homes, blinds closed, numbing out on television with a side of Facebook, instead of getting out and living life with vulnerable, authentic, genuine, healthy connections to like-hearted people and nature.
We know it’s not the behavior of a happy, healthy person when we rage at our children in private even though there’s no one there to witness it and to tell us.
We know when we use our careers to avoid the emptiness we feel in our personal lives, no matter how much we say, “I’m being of service, giving back, helping. Look what a good person I am.”
We know when we still want to get back at people who hurt us in our past as we hold on to our anger, rage, and resentment.
We know when we have creative gifts begging to be expressed, when we want to write, sing, paint or play drums, and just can’t, don’t or won’t.
We know the state of our bodies, how they feel when they hurt, have chronic headaches or other issues, are sluggish, foggy, clouded, tired and sick.
We know when we don’t have truly intimate friendships where we can share our true selves, wants, needs, desires, joys and sorrows with like-hearted people.
We know when we are depressed, shut down, numb and sad.
We know when we dread spending time with family members.
We know when we physically join bodies with a person with whom we have no emotional connection or our emotional connections are drama-filled instead of harmonious.
We know all of these things, so when do we wake up and go to the only possible source of truth, of knowledge and of healing? When do we overcome the abandonment and fear of self that keeps us stuck in our misery and darkness?
“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
The end of this relationship really showed me how completely tired I am of my own bullshit. I am so done! Time to get real, time to get raw, time to return to me, to bring light to what’s hurting inside me once and for all.
I lashed out in anger, pain and sadness at the end of this relationship. Where he thinks, “Ah, there it is, who she truly is just waiting for a chance to get at me all along,” I am not that angry, vindictive, hurtful person. I am not at all proud of my behavior. I hadn’t done that in years. My pain got the better of me.
I was hiding, in denial, thinking I’d healed that hurt inside of me long ago that made me hurt others.
Although it didn’t even take 24 hours for me to follow up with a sincere and heartfelt apology, his inability to respond to me with forgiveness, or with anything for that matter, was ultimately such a beautiful gift, finally allowing me to completely abandon my romanticized version of our time together. It allowed me to come out of hiding and into the deep truth of healing.
As sad as it is, it allowed me to begin seeing my past relationship patterns for what they truly are and, even more importantly, it allowed me to address the pain that was still unaddressed inside me that continued to call in this same lesson over and over with different faces.
It allowed me to finally acknowledge what it is in me that truly needs my love and attention before I can even consider again sharing that love and attention with another. It allowed me to see how different my parenting is when I am alone, how different my friendships are when I am alone, and just generally the difference in my quality of life when I am not partnered.
I laugh more when I am single. I have more fun when I am single. I am more connected to my children when I am single. I just generally have a better quality of life when I am single.
Not only is that not okay in any way, shape or form, it is sad. It is hard to admit, but here’s the thing: I needed to write that. I needed to own that.
I needed to come out of hiding and into healing.
I needed to say my last relationship wasn’t fun and, for the most part, neither were the majority of them before that.
“We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
It is now time to do better. I’m now in touch with what it is in me that continued to connect so deeply to the pain and misery of others.
Knowing we attract what we are, not what we want, I’m now facing the part of me that was hurting, that was depressed and begging to be saved by another. I found this piece of me buried long ago, and now I hold her, comfort her, heal her and love her.
Now that she’s been saved, another piece of me healed, she wants to have fun, be blissful, creative, laugh and enjoy life. She will no longer compromise her joyous life in order to partner with another.
I will no longer fall prey to the vibration of potential in pain, and I am grateful to each and every lesson that brought me to this new place of freedom and hope.
Christie Del Vesco is a College Administrator and Professor, a Universalist Minister, a member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau and single mom. She’s a children’s advocate, a survivor of many forms of sexual violence, and a voice for the survivors who have yet to find their own. Chris is a firm believer that we go through what we do, to help others when they go through the same. She also believes if we would all just “be the change,” we can change the world.